Posts tagged ‘Spain’

March 9th, 2008

Today’s letter – Spanish Prime Minister triumphs despite tolerance

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I wrote to you before about the prime minister of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and his courage in bringing same-sex marriage to Spain. You will be happy to know that, despite an all-out effort by the Roman Catholic Church, Zapatero was decisively reelected to a second term today.

How did he do it? Here’s what he said in his acceptance speech:

“The Spanish people have spoken clearly and decided to start a new era, I will govern with a firm but open hand . . . I will govern for all, but do so thinking most of all of those in need.” – March 9 2008

Here are some other quotes showing that his firm but open hand has a long history:

I will never understand those who proclaim love as the foundation of life, while denying so radically protection, understanding and affection to our neighbors, our friends, our relatives, our colleagues. What kind of love is this that excludes those who experience their sexuality in a different way? – May 11, 2005

It is time to bring to an end, once and for all, the intolerable discrimination still suffered by many Spaniards exclusively by virtue of their sexual preferences. Homosexuals and transsexuals deserve the same public consideration as heterosexuals and have the right to live freely the life that they themselves have chosen. – April 15, 2004

Governor, I wish I could be so happy with your political future. A firm and open hand only works when it is open to the people and closed to the Opponents of Equality. Don’t we deserve as much freedom from you as Zapatero brought Spain? Please don’t stop your support for California’s lesbian and gay people before you support their freedom to marry.

Yours,

Share
December 29th, 2007

Today’s letter – stranger things have happened

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

When people tell me that Lesbian and Gay couples will never get married in California, I tell them that “never is a long time.”

Who would have thought that two gay men could have children? Who knew that there would be gay marriages in Spain? Never did we think Larry Craig would be gay and Richard Simmons would be straight – or that the California legislature would pass a gay marriage all the way to the Governor’s desk. Who could have imagined that that we would have an openly gay bishop confirmed by a major religion – or that we would have a major Presidential candidate from a church that believes in gay marriage?

If we want all Californians to be able to fully participate in our economy and society, we need you, Governor, to tell Californians that everybody deserves the freedom to marry. That could never happen – but stranger things have.

Yours,

Share
August 17th, 2007

Today’s letter – Lessons from Spain

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

As you consider your position on AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, you might like to hear from some people I consider to be real leaders who were in a situation very similar to yours.

Spain’s path to marriage equality was much faster than Canada’s. Their prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, advocated marriage parity and survived an election doing so, with 61% of Spaniards supporting full marriage. These are the words he used to do it:

I will never understand those who proclaim love as the foundation of life, while denying so radically protection, understanding and affection to our neighbors, our friends, our relatives, our colleagues. What kind of love is this that excludes those who experience their sexuality in a different way?
– May 11, 2005

It is time to bring to an end, once and for all, the intolerable discrimination still suffered by many Spaniards exclusively by virtue of their sexual preferences.

Homosexuals and transsexuals deserve the same public consideration as heterosexuals and have the right to live freely the life that they themselves have chosen.
– April 15, 2004

He is my new hero. You have some work to do. Please consider as a start signing AB 43 when it reaches your desk.

Yours,

Share
Tags: ,
August 14th, 2007

Today’s letter – Going to Disneyland

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today I’m going to Disneyland! Disneyland opened up their Fairy Tale Wedding packages on April 5 to people who are unable to secure a valid marriage license – like the citizens of California currently in Domestic Partnership relationships.

A Disney spokesman said “This is consistent with our policy of creating a welcoming, respectful and inclusive environment for all of our guests.”

I wish California would follow Disney’s lead, and like Massachusetts, Canada, Spain and South Africa, welcome our same-sex couples with the dignity of marriage. Please sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, when it reaches your desk this Fall.

California Dreamin’,

Share
July 27th, 2007

Today’s letter – Upgrading Domestic Partnerships

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

We’ve had AB 205, the Domestic Partnership law, here in California for long enough to know that it’s time to upgrade to proper marriage.

Case in point: Vermont has had Domestic Partnership since 2000. Legislators there are starting to say that it is time for a change – to marriage.

Just this week (with elections looming), Vermont House Speaker Gaye Symington said “I think for many Vermonters the question has been when, not so much as whether, we would eventually recognize same-sex union through marriage,” and Vermont Senate President Pro Tempore Peter Shumlin said, “I think now most Vermonters would acknowledge [Civil Unions] haven’t impacted their families in any way, shape or form.”

A January 2006 poll in Vermont found 53 percent of respondents favored replacing the “civil unions” with marriage. And that was eighteen months ago!

I’m tired of being behind the curve on civil liberty. I wish we had marriage parity in California like they have in Massachusetts, Canada and Spain – and soon perhaps Vermont. Please sign AB 43 and tell the people to say no to discrimination.

Yours,

Share
July 12th, 2007

What is AB 43?

AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, is a bill that would bring us one step closer to ending the special exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage in California and providing freedom to churches who wish to perform the ceremonies.

The bill restores Sections 300 and 302 of the California Family Code to their pre-1977 language without touching Section 308.5 blocking foreign marriages that was installed by Proposition 22.

AB 43 is supported by more than 250 civil rights and professional groups, 46 of our 80 Assembly members and 22 of our 37 Senators.

The bill is on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk. He must sign or veto the bill before October 14, or it will pass into law on its own. If the bill becomes law, there will probably be an injunction pending the outcome of the marriage cases before the State Supreme Court.

He has vetoed a similar bill, AB 849, and has promised to veto this one too. His arguments have not changed: (1) the people voted for discrimination through Proposition 22 in 2000 and he cannot overturn the will of the people (2) the judiciary and the people need to work this out without the legislature (3) the bill is ineffective because of the pending cases in the Supreme Court.

I don’t believe these arguments hold up. Proposition 22 was about states rights and did nothing to change gay marriage in California. It was seven years ago and does not reflect the will of the voters that set up our Constitution and twice elected the legislature that passed AB 43. Finally, the bill may be ineffective at changing the law, however a signature will send a powerfully effective message about fairness.

The Governor has to know that his excuses are pretty lame. I guess he thinks a veto will win favor with his most active donors and the current crop of gay-haters in Washington, and by distracting people with Proposition 22 and “the will of the people” he can avoid doing what is right for the people in favor of what is right for himself.

It is embarrassing to have California come just a penstroke away from providing all their couples with the same rights. Overcoming prejudice was in California’s history, but now that mantle belongs to Massachusetts, Canada and Spain. It is horrible to have a Republican advocate higher taxes and additional government interference with individual lives. It is demeaning to have one person messing around with my family’s legal status to suit his political agenda.

I hope that I can change Governor Schwarzenegger’s mind, but even if I can only touch the minds and hearts of people who read my letters, I will have accomplished my goal.

Share